The final seven episodes of AMC’s long-running series Mad Men are set to land shortly on our screens, and to coincide with the show’s farewell, a few interesting tidbits have been unearthed. In a brilliant oral retrospective charting the history of Mad Men over at THR, one of the key players behind the scenes dropped a couple of hints about potential new directions for the property.
The revelation appears in the section of the article exploring the extended gap between seasons 4 and 5. That rocky period of time in the show’s past was troubled due to creator Matthew Weiner’s difficult negotiations with the network. They were hoping for shorter episode times and a smaller cast – while he was not. It was around this time that AMC were considering spinoffs for Peggy and Sally, according to Lionsgate COO Sandra Stern:
When we first started negotiating with AMC, one of the things they wanted was a spinoff. We talked about doing a contemporary one. Given the fact that [Mad Men] ends nearly 50 years ago, most of the characters would be dead. Sally was the one character young enough that you could see her 30 or 40 years later. There was a time we wanted a Peggy spinoff, too, and, a la Better Call Saul, a minor character going off to L.A. [Series creator and showrunner] Matt [Weiner] wasn’t comfortable committing to a spinoff.
The idea of Elisabeth Moss returning for a Peggy Olson-dedicated spinoff would definitely spark interest from the show’s legions of fans. But, as Stern states, the network’s aim at the time was a contemporary series that would understandably bring its own set of issues due to the death of practically all of the characters. Of course, Kiernan Shipka could easily command her own show as Don Draper’s daughter Sally, caught up in the changing epochs of the sixties and seventies, but it all depends on Weiner’s word.
For now, fans of Don and co. can look forward to the final seven episodes of Mad Men that begin on AMC April 5.